in Iraq


Beyond Harvey: Deadly Floods Cause Havoc in Africa, Asia

Voice of America - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 02:56
Harvey has gathered headlines as the most powerful storm to hit Texas in half a century, but floods have killed many more people in Africa and Asia this year amid extreme weather worldwide. Here are some of them: South Asia Floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have killed more than 1,200 people and affected 40 million, and are likely to intensify as monsoon rains continue, aid agencies say. All three countries suffer frequent flooding during the June-September monsoon season,...
Categories: Iraq

US: Iran Shows 'True Colors' by Restoring Hamas Ties

Voice of America - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 02:30
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday Iran had shown its "true colors" by restoring ties with Palestinian militant group Hamas and must be held to account by the international community. The new leader of Hamas in Gaza said on Monday that Tehran was again its biggest provider of money and arms after years of tension over the civil war in Syria. Hamas had angered Iran by refusing to support its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the...
Categories: Iraq

High Court Asks Israeli Government to Implement Western Wall Reform

Voice of America - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 00:10
The Israeli Supreme Court has demanded an explanation from the government for its decision not to implement an agreement that would have expanded the section of a revered Jewish shrine where women can pray alongside men. The deal between the government and several non-Orthodox groups, reached in January 2016, would have allowed mixed-gender worship at a part of the Western Wall. But the government suspended the deal six months later, after being pressured by its Orthodox coalition...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi PM: 'Victory Has Arrived' in Tal Afar Over IS

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 23:29
Iraq's prime minister has declared victory over Islamic State in the city of Tal Afar and the entire province of Nineveh.   "Our happiness is complete, victory has arrived and the province of Nineveh is now entirely in the hands of our forces," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement. U.S. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of coalition forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, praised Iraqis for their "stunningly swift and decisive...
Categories: Iraq

Hezbollah Leader Says He Met Assad in Syria Over IS Evacuation

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:39
The leader of Hezbollah says he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss a deal that saw hundreds of Islamic State jihadists evacuated from the Syria-Lebanon border earlier this week. During a Thursday speech, Hassan Nasrallah said he asked Assad to negotiate the deal, which led to the evacuation of the IS fighters in exchange for information on the remains of nine Lebanese soldiers captured in 2014. "I went personally to President Assad and asked for his help to...
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Turkey on Diplomatic Push to Close Schools Linked to Influential Cleric

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:30
Turkey has been pressuring countries around the world to close or hand over control of schools linked to an influential Muslim cleric who was a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before becoming his most worrisome foe. Influential and polarizing, Fethullah Gulen has been accused of being behind a corruption probe of Erdogan’s government in 2013, which shattered their friendship. He also is accused of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 250 people dead...
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Report: Cluster Munitions in Syria, Yemen Increase Civilian Casualties

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:25
A report released ahead of next week’s U.N. conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions has condemned the continued use of cluster munitions by Syria and Yemen. They are the only two countries that still use the bombs, which are banned under international law. The report, known as the Cluster Munition Monitor, has recorded more than 230 cluster munition strikes in opposition-held areas across Syria over the past year. It says the number of attacks has increased since Russia...
Categories: Iraq

Suspected IS Suicide Bomber Hits Libya Checkpoint, Kills 2

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:05
A suspected Islamic State militant drove his explosives-laden car into a checkpoint east of the coastal Libyan city of Sirte on Thursday, killing two policemen, military officials said. The officials said the blast at Nofaliya, 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of Sirte, also wounded two soldiers from the Libyan National Army, LNA.   The attack and the resulting death toll were reported by Col. Muftah Amgharief, from the security force guarding oil facilities in eastern Libya, and...
Categories: Iraq

Returnees to Old Mosul Find Little Besides Rubble, Lingering Danger

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 20:04
“All you can hear at night is the sound of broken doors flapping in the wind,” says Abd Elaam, a 50-year-old furniture maker. “Even soldiers stay indoors after dark.” Elaam is currently one of the very few civilians living in Old Mosul, an ancient neighborhood shattered by the battle to recapture the city from Islamic State militants. Like many families that survived IS rule, he says, his resources are completely exhausted by the war and he has nowhere else to go.   Other families...
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2 Million Muslim Pilgrims Mark Highlight of Annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 19:46
Around two million Muslim pilgrims have marked the high point of the hajj — the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca — by ascending Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia. Saudi security forces remain on high alert, amid a variety of internal and external terrorist threats. Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims made the ritual ascent to the Namira mosque on Mount Arafat, outside Mecca, braving a blazing summer sun and temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Celsius. Saudi television showed a...
Categories: Iraq

ISIS Loses Another City to U.S.-Backed Iraqi Forces

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 17:47
The battle for Tal Afar, which lasted just 11 days, was another sign that the militant group’s days of administering territory are numbered.
Categories: Iraq

UN Atomic Agency: Iran Complying With Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 16:06
Iran has complied with limits set on its nuclear activity by the deal it signed with several world powers in 2015, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations’ atomic agency. Iran currently holds an 88.4 kg stock of low-enriched uranium, which is far below the 202.8-kg limit set in the nuclear agreement, and Iran’s level of enrichment did not exceed a 3.67 percent cap, the International Atomic Energy Agency report showed. The report — the third such report since...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Declares Victory Over IS in Tal Afar

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 15:09
Iraq's prime minister has declared victory over Islamic State in the city of Tal Afar and the entire province of Nineveh "Our happiness is complete, victory has arrived and the province of Nineveh is now entirely in the hands of our forces," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement. In a statement, the U.S.-led coaltion congratulated Iraqi forces but warned that "dangerous work remains" to remove explosive devices and find any IS fighters in...
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After Tense Talks, UN Agrees to Renew Peacekeepers in Lebanon

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:34
The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to renew the mandate for a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon on Wednesday, following tense negotiations amid U.S. and Israeli criticism that U.N. troops should do more to stop Hezbollah gaining arms. The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) — established in 1978 - patrols Lebanon's southern border with Israel. Washington regards Hezbollah, which supports the Syrian government and has a strong presence in south Lebanon, as a...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Discusses Qatar With Saudi King

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 03:25
The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken with Saudi Arabia's King Salman about a regional dispute over Qatar. Trump spoke Wednesday by telephone to the Saudi king, telling him a diplomatic resolution to the dispute would fulfill a commitment made when Trump visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to maintain a united front against terrorism. In June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar over allegations it was funding extremists, a...
Categories: Iraq

Netanyahu Assails Israel's 'Fake News Industry'

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 01:50
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the media, accusing it of working against him by playing up corruption investigations against him. "The 'fake news' industry has reached a record level. The aim is to secure indictments, at whatever price and quickly, against me," he said at a rally of supporters Wednesday.  Israeli authorities have questioned Netanyahu in two separate corruption cases. One case, dubbed "File 1000,''...
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IMF Says Transport, Food Costs Are Up in Qatar After Rift

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 01:17
The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that transportation and food costs in Qatar had "edged up" because of a diplomatic rift that led four Arab countries to cut ties with the small Gulf state. An IMF team visited the capital, Doha, this week, saying in a statement that Qatar's government was able to soften the immediate impact of trade disruptions, but that some costs had gone up as a result of delays caused by rerouting trade. Non-oil growth is projected to shrink...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Promotes Birth Control to Fight Rapid Population Growth

Voice of America - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 00:38
Egypt is pushing to educate people in rural areas on birth control and family planning in a bid to slow a population growth rate that President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said poses a threat to national development. The country is already the most populous in the Arab world with 93 million citizens and is set to grow to 128 million by 2030 if fertility rates of 4.0 births per thousand women continue, according to government figures. In 2016, Egypt saw the birth of 2.6 million babies, the...
Categories: Iraq

Jordan, Iraq Reopen Main Border Crossing on Baghdad to Amman Highway

Voice of America - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 23:30
Tureibil, Iraq's main international border crossing with Jordan and a key trade route, officially reopened Wednesday after being officially closed for three years. Privately-owned U.S. security firms, along with Iraqi ground and air forces, will be responsible for safety along the 500-kilometer route from Baghdad to Amman, which goes through Iraq's Anbar province. Iraqi forces have cleared areas near the highway of Islamic State militants in recent months, and parts of the...
Categories: Iraq

US-led Airstrike Blocks IS Fighters Headed for Iraqi Border Region

Voice of America - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 21:10
U.S.-led forces say they have bombed a road in Syria to block a convoy carrying Islamic State fighters from Lebanon to an area near the Iraqi border. The more than 600 IS fighters and their families, who had been trapped near the border between Syria and Lebanon, were being transported under an agreement among Hezbollah, the Lebanese and Syrian governments. However the agreement angered U.S. ally Iraq, which feared the jihadists would bring their fight to its borders. The group was...
Categories: Iraq